It’s been over a week since we returned from spring break, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to care about our schoolwork.
Post-spring break complacency is an affliction that many of us are likely facing. It makes sense to fall victim to it; we worked so hard in the first half of the semester and one week of break gives almost a false impression of finality.
But the reality is that there are still a few weeks to go before finals week, and this may be the most critical period of the entire semester.
In high school, we all experienced this phenomenon of “senioritis,” where the optimism and determination that powered us through our college applications was suddenly replaced with apathy and nihilism. After all, if we were already into our top choice school, what’s the point of even taking your last few finals? Why show up to class when close to nothing could affect what we’re doing in the coming fall?
Now, this sort of mood definitely doesn’t exist to the same degree in college. After all, we do have to go to those last few classes and take those last exams because our GPAs will be stuck all over our resumes when we’re applying for jobs. Still, with the changing weather and approaching summer jobs, internships and research positions, it’s difficult to make yourself roll out of bed for that 9:30 a.m. lecture.
In the case of those with front-loaded classes, the month of April will be especially deceptive. Maybe only a couple more quizzes and a paper to go before the end of the school year, all of which are spread out enough that they are never a “now” concern. Doing readings will feel especially irrelevant, since everything you think you need to know you learned a month ago.
It’s critical that we don’t fall into this trap.
You might say this is easier said than done, and that’s fair. It’s not very difficult to come out and just tell people to stop being lazy for the rest of the semester. The Observer is here to tell you how to stop being lazy.
For starters, find a way to mitigate the effects of spring distractions. With the sun on the brink of returning, it becomes difficult to avoid hanging outside with a few friends rather than studying for your lab practical. After the three to four months of Cleveland winter, any type of warm weather is so conspicuous it feels wrong to stay cooped up in your dorm room.
But it’s possible to use this weather shift to your advantage. Take your study routine outdoors and get some Vitamin D while you work toward getting an A on your exams. Or break up your longer periods of study with walks or other outdoor activities that clear your head and let the information settle in. These sorts of changes in habits are an attractive change from the normal routine, which can help make work feel less like a burden and contrast from what your brain has gotten used to throughout the year.
Any type of deviation from the norm will be well received by your increasingly relaxed brain. Part of what makes working in the second half of a semester so difficult is the dread that comes from academic monotony. Spring break only amplifies that feeling when it gives us a taste of what it would be like to be free from it.
So on top of taking your coursework into the great outdoors, consider some indoor changes as well. Find new evening or morning routines that make you less interested in constant sleep, like a new workout plan, skincare routine or yoga set. Again, the end goal is defeating the monotony that causes you to resent your current situation, so even the smallest of changes can have huge results for your interest in your coursework.
It’s important to point out that we aren’t shaming those who have totally immersed themselves in their end of semester work. Hard work should be rewarded by whatever the person sees fit as their reward.
But still, if we do take this semester as being small, then powering through these last few weeks is just as justifiable as treating them as irrelevant.